A key aspect of enticing a potential buyer to make an offer on your home is to help them picture themselves living in it. One of the most effective ways to do that is by staging your home. Nearly half of the real estate agents surveyed by the National Association of Realtors believed that staging affects the way buyers view a home, and 82 percent of buyer’s agents said that staging makes it easier for a potential buyer to visualize themselves living in the home. Staging can increase the selling price of a home an average of one to 10 percent and help it to sell quicker.

Here are some best practices for staging a home:

Start with the outside. If you want a potential buyer to have a look inside, it’s important that the buyer’s first look makes him want to see more. Clean up the yard, plant shrubs and seasonal flowers, and lay down mulch. Put a new welcome mat and some healthy potted plants on the front porch. Make sure the outside of the house is clean, too.

Inside, become a minimalist. The less stuff you have, the better, because spaciousness counts. Declutter and pack up all personal items. Keep only what you need on a daily basis in your home and store the rest. This goes for spaces behind closed doors, too, because buyers are going to open them. Closets can no longer be hiding places crammed with stuff. Take out most of the items and organize the rest in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Staging counts the most in the living room, master bedroom, and kitchen, so focus a great deal of attention in those rooms before addressing the others.

View your home like a potential buyer would. Repair anything that needs it, like nicks, dents, scratches, scuffed walls and the like. All buyers want a well-maintained home. Making sure it’s in tiptop shape sends the message that the seller has taken good care of the home. To a buyer, clean equals cared for, so deep clean every corner before showings. Pay particular attention to the bathroom. Grimy caulk and stained faucets are off-putting.

Give your rooms a coat of neutral paint, such as gray, white or taupe. Bold colors can distract or turn a buyer off.

Make sure all spaces are well-lit, the brighter the better. Open blinds and add lamps if necessary. Light will make a home look bigger.

Another way to make your home seem larger is to remove any excess furniture, leaving as much open space as possible so that buyers can walk around easily. This means either renting a storage space or storing pieces with a friend or relative, but it is worth the trouble. When staging, too much furniture becomes clutter.

Use a few healthy potted plants to give the interior a fresh, vibrant look. Place a vase of fresh flowers on the kitchen table to make the space even more attractive.

Accessorize, but minimally. Think plush towels in the bathroom, a couple of throw pillows with matching blankets, a coffee table book, etc.

Pay attention to how your house smells. Since you live there, you might be unable to detect odors that other might, so ask a friend to have a smell for any odd or offensive odors. Make sure that the trash can is always empty. To enhance a home’s smell, use a plug-in that gives off a subtle scent. If you have pets, remove all traces of them, including the litter box.

The test of how good a job you’ve done is to ask yourself if a space is magazine, Pinterest, or Instagram worthy. If you can picture it there, it’s ready for buyers.